XBOX MUSIC PASS
★★★★ Microsoft, Xbox (also other Windows devices)
Microsoft is trying its hand at the music business, and Xbox Music is the latest add-on for the console, with the Music Pass giving you access to unlimited ad-free music both online and offline for a fee. It’s easy to use, which is a must for a service like this. You can search for music by artists , use Kinect to voice search if you have it (with sometimes unintentionally hilarious results) or through the controller. The cloud-based service also links up with Windows 8 devices, so you can create playlists there and they will automatically appear on your console. The music choice is fairly wide, ranging from new releases to Broadway musical soundtracks. If your own tastes include more eclectic stuff that isn’t on the platform, you will eventually be able to add it to your Xbox Music cloud catalogue, with Microsoft promising the ability to include all the music you own, regardless of what service you bought it through. The date for that is a bit ambiguous, with Microsoft planning it “for the coming year”.